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19 Killed in Shootouts Involving Rival Gangs & Police in Brazil


Brazilian police say at least 19 people have been killed in shootouts involving rival gangs and police in Rio de Janeiro.

Officials say 13 people were killed in one gun battle Tuesday in the Mineira shantytown, near downtown Rio. They say police moved into the area to stop a prolonged shootout between rival gangs that had forced authorities to shut down key roads in the city.

Police say most of the dead were drug runners killed by opposing gang members. It is unclear how many people were killed by police fire. Several bystanders were injured by stray bullets.

Officials say police also killed six suspected gang members in a separate shootout Tuesday in the Rebu shantytown in the western part of Rio.

Brazil's government is considering a request by Rio's governor to deploy army troops to fight gangs in the city, which is one of the most violent in the world.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.